Full Monte, Barbecana’s schedule risk analysis tool which was released earlier this year, has now been updated to version 2.0. It is designed and written specifically to integrate with Microsoft Project 2007 and 2010 providing Monte Carlo simulation capabilities. We previously reviewed Full Monte back in early February when it was first launched and you can read that review by clicking here.
For those of you who are new to schedule risk analysis and may not be familiar with some of the terms mentioned below, you can click here to read an article explaining what it is and why do it.
New Features in Full Monte 2.0
So what’s new in Full Monte version 2.0? This latest version boasts a number of welcome new features, performance improvements and a few bug fixes. Below is a summary of these new capabilities.
- Version 2.0 introduces a new schedule checker which performs 27 (mostly customizable) checks on the network and includes the 14 metrics required by DCMA.
- Correlation Groups are now called Correlation Sources and each task can now have an unlimited number of them. In addition, you can now see a list of other tasks correlated with any particular task, and to what extent. Clicking on any of these tasks produces a scatter plot of the joint distribution.
- Distributions can now be specified with the optimistic and pessimistic values representing not absolute values but a specified confidence interval. This behaves in a similar way is to what some call the “trigen” distribution, but this applies to all distribution types within Full Monte.
- The Sensitivity analysis is much more comprehensive than in the previous version and is considerably faster. Sensitivity data is now accumulated during the risk analysis, which means that it takes proper account of the fact that other task durations are varying. This means that both the sensitivity index and the dates on the tornado chart are more reliable when there is significant merge bias. Sensitivity can also be done with respect to intermediate milestones (“sensitivity targets”) as well as project finish. In addition, sensitivity to a specific task can be explored fully with a full simulation and resulting cumulative probability distributions for the target based upon optimistic and pessimistic values of the selected task duration.
- Sensitivity can also be performed in respect of a correlation source or a set of correlation sources.
- Sensitivity Variance Attributable is a new field which shows the percentage of the uncertainty in the finish of the sensitivity target attributable to uncertainty in the duration of the current task.
- Sensitivity can now be performed on the cost as well as the finish dates of tasks. This introduces new fields for optimistic and pessimistic costs and the variance of cost attributable to uncertainty in the current task.
- Version 2.0 also introduces a new field called Merge Delay which shows the amount of delay preceding a task which is due to merge bias.
Other Features And Updates
- You can now cancel a simulation while it is in progress, which now also allows more iterations than the previous limit of 999,999.
- The Microsoft Project custom fields used by Full Monte are now renamed to indicate their content.
- The Full Monte reports now allow more Microsoft Project fields to be utilized.
- You also have more control over the histogram and s-curve reports. S-curve’s can indicate a specified degree of confidence and there is more control over the colors used by these reports.
- As well as being used for dates, Bar charts can now be produced for duration, numeric, and cost fields.
- Another useful addition is the ability to export the data in tabular reports to CSV format. This makes it easy to import this data into Excel.
This is a big update to Full Monte, driven largely by the user base, which propels the tool into a mature product. We said this earlier in the year in our initial review and it’s worth reiterating. If you are using Microsoft Project and need to add schedule risk analysis capabilities, you should very seriously consider buying Full Monte!